Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in Greater Manchester has responded to claims by the Labour party that funding for mental health in the area is being cut, by saying that they are spending more on mental health than ever.
The Bury Times reports that data obtained by the Labour Party indicate that Bury’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and other CCGs across Greater Manchester are cutting the amount they spend on mental health – despite the government promising to increase funding.
MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Angela Rayner – who is patron of the Labour Mental Health campaign –has written to every CCG group in the area, demanding improvements in mental health services.
Data obtained by Labour suggest that Bury CCG is cutting its mental health spending from 9.83%in 2014 to 8.8% this year.
Ms Rayner said:
“These percentage figures may seem small in some cases – but they represent hundreds of thousands of pounds which are being cut from multi-million pound budgets.
“That means fewer therapists working with people who have mental health problems, fewer acute beds and fewer services. It is very worrying.”
“While the government says spending on mental health services should be increased, it is actually being badly cut in Greater Manchester.”
Bury CCG says, however, that an extra £1.5m is being spent on mental health services during the current budget year.
Mental health lead for NHS Bury CCG, Dr Jeff Schryer, said:
“Investment into mental health services in Bury has increased this year – with an additional £1.5 million investment, compared to 2014-15.
“This represents 6.8% additional investment in mental health services – and was secured from our (6.4%) increase in financial allocation from April 2015.
“In committing these funds, the CCG has demonstrated that mental health services will be given parity of esteem with other health services in Bury.
“Additional investments this year to date include investment into a service to support patients presenting at accident and emergency (A&E) in mental health crisis; and more money for the Healthy Minds service – providing treatment and support for people struggling to cope with low mood, stress, anxiety, depression.
Dr Schryer added that Bury CCG would be working more closely with the voluntary sector to support children diagnosed with autism and ADHD – as well as focusing more on early intervention, “to identify and treat problems at the earliest possible stage”.
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Duncan Lewis can advise NHS mental health patients on access to services and their rights under the Mental Health Act.
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